Absence of differential predation on rats by Malaysian Barn Owls in oil palm plantations

Puan, Chong Leong, Goldizen, Anne W., Zakaria, Mohamed, Hafidzi, Mohd N. and Baxter, Greg S. (2011) Absence of differential predation on rats by Malaysian Barn Owls in oil palm plantations. Journal of Raptor Research, 45 1: 71-78. doi:10.3356/JRR-10-18.1

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Author Puan, Chong Leong
Goldizen, Anne W.
Zakaria, Mohamed
Hafidzi, Mohd N.
Baxter, Greg S.
Title Absence of differential predation on rats by Malaysian Barn Owls in oil palm plantations
Journal name Journal of Raptor Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0892-1016
Publication date 2011-03
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3356/JRR-10-18.1
Volume 45
Issue 1
Start page 71
End page 78
Total pages 8
Place of publication West Chester, OH, United States
Publisher Raptor Research Foundation
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Barn Owls (Tyto alba javanica) have been widely introduced in Malaysian oil palm plantations to control rodent pests. However, their effectiveness in regulating rodent populations is unknown. We investigated whether Barn Owls selected prey with respect to size and sex classes based on data from 128 pellets of Barn Owls compared to 1292 live-trapped rats in an oil palm plantation in Malaysia. The birds mostly fed on Rattus rattus diardii, the most commonly trapped species. Body mass of prey consumed was predicted based on models derived from measurements from trapped rats. Sex of prey was determined by pelvic measurements with reference to those taken from specimens of known gender. There was no clear selection of prey by Barn Owls in relation to size or sex of prey, and no difference in the body mass of prey between the owls' breeding and nonbreeding seasons. The absence of differential predation in Barn Owls may partly explain the lack of clear evidence that they regulate rodent populations and thus act as successful biological control agents
Keyword Barn Owl
Tyto alba
Rattus rattus diardii
Prey Selection
Prey Size
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Mon, 05 Sep 2011, 15:36:18 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Integrative Systems